Members of the SEA’s Chapter 50, at the Department of Environmental Services, took time last week to honor retiring administrator Harry Stewart.
Stewart, who is the director of the DES’s Water Division, has done volunteer work in Haiti and founded the Foundation for Fundamentals there. The organization provides education, food, housing and other fundamentals needed to improve the lives of individuals and families in need in Haiti.
Chapter 50 members invited Stewart to their quarterly meeting last week where they presented him with a donation for Foundation for Fundamentals. Chapter 50 President Ana Ford said Stewart is well respected inside and outside the agency.
“He’s just been a great advocate for the employees here,” Ford said. “He was asked what the best part of his job was — he said the worst was the budget process, but the best was all the people he’s worked with over the years here at DES.”
Chapter 50 member Ray Gordon said members had asked Stewart to attend the chapter meeting, where he talked about his time at the agency.
“Usually, we have retirement parties for employees, but this was the first time we recognized the retirement of a director at a union meeting,” he said. “He treats us like professionals, and if every manager acted like Harry does, it’d be a better world.”
Ford said the work Stewart has done in Haiti reflects who he is, so a donation made sense.
“That’s very much a part of him,” she said. “Who chooses the heat of Haiti in the summer to help people instead of taking a real vacation?”
You can read more about the Foundation for Fundamentals, watch a video and even make a donation, at www.foundationforfundamentals.org.